Talk to Your Loved Ones

Over the years, I’ve found that one of the leading causes of broken relationships is a lack of communication. Whether it’s a friendship, marriage, or a relationship between family members (parent/child), failing to communicate can often lead to stagnant relationships. Without taking steps to correct a breakdown of communication, one can find the relationship ultimately ceasing to exist.

Last night, I was reminded of this while having dinner with my family. There we were in a restaurant talking about a wide array of topics. I noticed other groups of people engaged in conversation.

Then, towards the end of our meal, I observed a teenager and a parent sitting quietly at a table. The mother was reading a book. The daughter was texting. As far as I could tell, they never even looked at one another. Now, it’d be presumptuous to assume that this was normal for the pair. For all I know, they could have had a lengthy conversation before arriving at the restaurant. But, it appeared as though they had no desire to communicate with one another.

The teenager texting away, ignoring her mother, is fairly typical these days. However, what struck me the most was the apparent surrender of the parent. It appeared that she had accepted this pattern of non-communication as normal. By reading a book rather than attempting to engage her daughter in a conversation over dinner, it seemed like she had given up. And, if I were the child, it would have given me the message that my parent just did not care.

So, I was reminded of the importance of communicating with the ones you love. I have let numerous friendships fall apart because I was simply too lazy and self-consumed to take the time to make a call or send a message. Today, my desire is to correct that…to make it a point to communicate with those important people in my lives.

And, what lengths are you willing to go through in order to communicate with those you love? Are you willing to give up some of your personal time to make time for a friend? Are you willing to pick up your cell phone and text your child?

This week, take some time to engage in a conversation with those who are most important to you.

Work Clean

I’ve wanted to write this for some time. However, with the holidays and the move, blogging has been pretty low on the priority list.

While reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, I found two words of advice from a chef quite profound. The two words…”Work clean!”

Bourdain expands on the concept of working clean:

Working clean, constantly wiping and cleaning, is a desirable state of affairs for the conscientious line cook. That chef was right: messy station equals messy mind…Being set up properly, trained and coordinated is not nearly enough. A good line cook has to be able to remain clear-headed, organized and reasonably even-keeled during hectic and stressful service periods…The ability to “work well with others” is a must…Practicing your craft in expert fashion is noble, honorable, and satisfying.

While Bourdain is writing about line cooks, I believe the concept of working clean can apply to a vast array of fields.

Do you have a messy station, therefore a messy mind?

Are you able to remain clear-headed, organized, and reasonably even-keeled during hectic and stressful moments?

Are you able to work well with others?

Are you practicing your craft in expert fashion?

My goal is to work clean. I desire to get rid of the mess. I desire to remain even-keeled during the stressful moments I am sure to encounter. I desire to work well with others. And, I strive to practice my craft to the best of my abilities.

Will you join me on this journey of striving to “work clean”?